Windows Mobile is dead long live Windows on a mobile platform!

anon(50597)

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My definition of productivity is things you wouldn't want to do on a smartphone.

Fast forward to 10/21/2017, would you feel comfortable doing spreadsheets (home budget is acceptable), compose a long email to your grandmother that you haven't seen in years or add some cool effects to the 75 pictures from your daughter's 8th birthday? All this on an iPhone 8 (not the plus).

No business-related items there.

I would do all those on my laptop. To be honest, my iPad is just for couch surfing. I could do a lot more with it, but I don’t.
 

fatclue_98

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I would do all those on my laptop. To be honest, my iPad is just for couch surfing. I could do a lot more with it, but I don’t.
That's precisely my point. Many of us would be interested in a top-rung mobile PC but not as a primary device whether or not it has telephony. It'd be a big plus to have in the event one does some traveling and likes to pack light.

Continuum is what we have right now but it's not perfect and it's certainly not for everyone. Just because you may not find a use for any of this doesn't mean there isn't a market for it. "You" doesn't mean you in particular, I'm generalizing. I read a lot of comments here and on other sites where posters give off the impression that if their iPhone or Android can't do something then it must not be important or needed.
 

a5cent

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Came across this article today and it pretty much sums up what I think is going on here...

"Saying that Windows 10 Mobile will no longer be developed only means that Microsoft has determined that it is time to consolidate its mobile OS into its desktop OS."

https://www.pcmag.com/commentary/356706/rip-windows-phones-not-quite
Nah, it's pretty much BS. Like most tech writers, he has so little understanding of software he's just not able to write about it accurately.

W10 and W10M mobile are already a CONSOLIDATED OS. MS has been on a path towards consolidation since Vista and they concluded that journey with W10.

Besides the launcher (a.k.a CShell, which is technically not part of the OS), the only difference between W10M and W10 are omissions. Every component (again, except CShell) which W10M doesn't omit is identical to that which is contained in W10. Drivers of course also differ, but they differ whenever hardware does (not to mention that drivers also aren't part of the OS).

Of course, that doesn't mean W10 and W10M are the EXACT same things. To be actually the same thing W10M wouldn't be allowed to omit anything.

This is the technically accurate way to understand the situation:

W10M can't be discontinued! MS can stop using the name, and stop offering W10M as a separate package, but actually scrapping the technology would mean gutting W10 itself, because like I said, with the exception of CShell, nothing in W10M is unique to itself. Discontinuing W10M is literally the same as discontinuing parts of W10.

That is why W10M kept receiving updates all this time, and why W10M will technically continue to receive updates long after the support period for the last windows phone is officially ended. MS can't update one without updating to other. The only way for this to change is if MS stops maintaining the ability to install a Win32 free version of Windows. That's all W10M is. While that's possible, it's highly unlikely MS would do that (for reasons I'll skip here).
 
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a5cent

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I understand what you are saying.... I don't think we disagree. There is no longer a need for mobile to have its own identity.
Technically, yes, in every other way (economically, branding, etc.), I think not, but I'll skip that for now.

My impression is that you may be confusing the 'means' with the 'ends'. The author is definitely doing so.

Nothing related to Win32 will ever get a standing ovation. Win32 (what most people actually associate with Windows) is something MOST people MUST use rather than something they WANT to use.

All desktop OSes are that way, as they were developed at a time when computers were isolated/unconnected boxes and their users were expected to understand technology. That is no longer the case, which is why mobile OSes have become the so much more successful mass market products. Mobile OSes (or consumerized OSes) were explicitly designed to require zero administration/maintenance and to protect users from themselves. Win32 can't and will never be able to do that (without sacrificing compatibility), which is one of the reasons MS broke from it and designed what amounts to a second platform, WinRT, which evolved into UWP.

For the reasons mentioned, MS needs UWP to be successful if they want to remain relevant as a platform provider. Windows Phone was intended to be the vehicle to popularizing the UWP, but that failed. Now, Win32 is the only thing MS has which could carry UWP into the mass market, as MS apparently can't design UWP in a way were it can achieve success on its own merits (MS' biggest problem).

So, we're not getting a small device that runs Win32 software because that is what MS always wanted. We could have easily had that 6 years ago. We're getting it because it's the only half-viable path MS still has to popularizing the UWP. It's a move out of weakness/necessity, rather than strength/innovation.

The goal is to have UWP on everything and Win32 in the dustbin. Win32 on small devices is a means to an end (make UWP a viable and even the preferred platform for software development on all form factors), not the end in and of itself.
 
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BackToTheFuture

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@a5cent: very insightful write-ups, which is rare to see on the net these days.

edit: a little information for those who do not know:

Win32 API is ~25yo, designed for original Windows NT. It's obsolete technology, nothing exciting about it. Similarly, WinForms (.Net) is almost 20yo. But a bunch of complex software was written based on those platforms and do not expect them to transition to new development platform any time soon.

Typically in user-facing software, the GUI is the most time-consuming part of development. So it's unlikely for big software like Photoshop, Maya, CAD etc... to make the move in near future.
 
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a5cent

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@a5cent: very insightful write-ups, which is rare to see on the net these days.

I'm glad you appreciate it. It's sad that it's a loosing battle though. :-/

The tech-blogosphere is even worse than political news when it comes to accurately portraying and explaining why events unfold and why technologies develop in the way they do.

Since the reader typically can't tell the difference either way, there is likely no need to hire more expensive people that actually have a background in CS.
 

BackToTheFuture

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I'm glad you appreciate it. It's sad that it's a loosing battle though. :-/

The tech-blogosphere is even worse than political news when it comes to accurately portraying and explaining why events unfold and why technologies develop in the way they do.

Since the reader typically can't tell the difference either way, there is likely no need to hire more expensive people that actually have a background in CS.

Having been working in the CS Dept of a major university, I can tell you that I don't have high hope for the current crop of students either. And they are who will maintain our digital infrastructure in the coming years ...
 

fatclue_98

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Having been working in the CS Dept of a major university, I can tell you that I don't have high hope for the current crop of students either. And they are who will maintain our digital infrastructure in the coming years ...
And taking care of seniors too. Scary stuff indeed.
 

a5cent

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And taking care of seniors too. Scary stuff indeed.

Having been working in the CS Dept of a major university, I can tell you that I don't have high hope for the current crop of students either.

To clarify, although this isn't my area of expertise, I don't believe generation Y is any less capable than generation X or the baby boomers. At least when it comes to software development I don't envy the position of newcomers.

Briefly:

I imagine millennials find themselves confronted with an overwhelming number of solutions, stacked into layer upon layer of software and tooling, with no way to experience and therefore really understand the problems those solutions were designed to solve.

It's hard to appreciate a solution to a problem you're not fully aware of.
 

BackToTheFuture

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To clarify, although this isn't my area of expertise, I don't believe generation Y is any less capable than generation X or the baby boomers. At least when it comes to software development I don't envy the position of newcomers.

Briefly:

I imagine millennials find themselves confronted with an overwhelming number of solutions, stacked into layer upon layer of software and tooling, with no way to experience and therefore really understand the problems those solutions were designed to solve.

It's hard to appreciate a solution to a problem you're not fully aware of.

That's exactly the issue of the current students: severe lack of problem solving skills. They don't understand the problem, as well as the solution. All they did is hack this hack that, by visiting Stackoverflow/stackexchange. And they are not punished for that, or us instructors would be sued (I'm in US), that means wasting our time and money. Hence the students do not see any incentive to improve themselves, they will graduate anyway. And with the shortage of IT workers recently, most of them will find work somewhere. But they are short on skills & wills, so you know what will happen next, e.g crappy software.
 
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anon(50597)

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To clarify, although this isn't my area of expertise, I don't believe generation Y is any less capable than generation X or the baby boomers. At least when it comes to software development I don't envy the position of newcomers.

Briefly:

I imagine millennials find themselves confronted with an overwhelming number of solutions, stacked into layer upon layer of software and tooling, with no way to experience and therefore really understand the problems those solutions were designed to solve.

It's hard to appreciate a solution to a problem you're not fully aware of.

I completely agree. I think it’s unfair to lump all “young people” together and make generalized statements as if if we know them all. Every generation has said the same thing because they believe their way is the best. Grumpy old man syndrome.

If we look back at history with a serious focus there has always been bad decisions and bad people. Otherwise the world would be perfect right now. We are evolving as people and the world is becoming more complex. Not an easy thing to deal with. Have to somehow work together to solve problems, whether software development or nuclear arms.
 

BackToTheFuture

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I think it’s unfair to lump all “young people” together and make generalized statements as if if we know them all.

I did say, it is my experience as an instructor in a major US university, about current CS students in my department, it needs not apply elsewhere. However, this is a flagship university, so the sample size is pretty high to lead to my impression. About 10% of them are genuinely good, the rest just don't give a damn about studying or getting better at all.

At the end of the day, I am not concerned about students, they do what they want. I give them the knowledge to prep them for their future, but how they take it is a different matter. I am just worried that quality of our digital infrastructure will continue to drop.
 

anon(50597)

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I did say, it is my experience as an instructor in a major US university, about current CS students in my department, it needs not apply elsewhere. However, this is a flagship university, so the sample size is pretty high to lead to my impression. About 10% of them are genuinely good, the rest just don't give a damn about studying or getting better at all.

At the end of the day, I am not concerned about students, they do what they want. I give them the knowledge to prep them for their future, but how they take it is a different matter. I am just worried that quality of our digital infrastructure will continue to drop.

I fully understand your experience with your students and agree that your sample size has merit. The point I was trying to make is do we know this is any different than previous generations? Were students always deadly serious and focused on their studies in past generations or does this occur later while gaining experience? The world is also a different place which changes many variables.

I have to be honest, I’m more worried about what previous generations have done and may still do (look at the current administration in the White House). At the rate they’re going the current crop of student won’t have anything left to work with.
 

BackToTheFuture

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I have to be honest, I’m more worried about what previous generations have done and may still do (look at the current administration in the White House). At the rate they’re going the current crop of student won’t have anything left to work with.

You are right, on the general outlook, the world's future is bleak. I was focusing on my field of CS only, and quality of students is indeed regressing at the undergraduate level. I'm not mentioning the graduate level, and the number of talented PhDs, mostly foreigners, are tiny compared to the number of workers in the industry.
 

anon(50597)

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You are right, on the general outlook, the world's future is bleak. I was focusing on my field of CS only, and quality of students is indeed regressing at the undergraduate level. I'm not mentioning the graduate level, and the number of talented PhDs, mostly foreigners, are tiny compared to the number of workers in the industry.

Very true and important distinction. I really feel as though we may have failed many students though. Our push that everyone needs a college education may have been misguided. Not everyone learns the same way. I under no circumstances know the answer, but perhaps it was more the process than the student.

Interesting topic I enjoy thinking about and I appreciate your expertise in the field.
 

a5cent

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Very true and important distinction. I really feel as though we may have failed many students though. Our push that everyone needs a college education may have been misguided. Not everyone learns the same way. I under no circumstances know the answer, but perhaps it was more the process than the student.

Interesting topic I enjoy thinking about and I appreciate your expertise in the field.
@TgeekB @BackToTheFuture

I think you are getting at an important point here TgeekB.

I live in Switzerland, which is certainly not comparable to the U.S. , but the core point may still apply. In the late 90's when I went to school, around 4% of Switzerland's population achieved the level of academic success that was required to enter university. Today that percentage is much higher. This is not because younger generations are much smarter, but because the level of academic achievement required to enter university (and college), have been considerably lowered.

At least in Switzerland this was deliberate, because government agencies projected that in the coming decades, the economy will require many more knowledge workers than it previously had, not to mention that many of the more menial tasks will slowly disappear or be outsourced to countries with cheaper labor. Colleges and Universities were the places where those skills were taught, so they were asked to open their doors to a much larger swath of the population.

The professors I know also complain about the "material" they must work with, and that they simply can't graduate (on average) the same quality of professional that they once did. They are also clear that none of this is millennials faults. Twenty years ago most of them wouldn't have been admitted to university in the first place.

Society obviously can't have it both ways.
 

ohmibod

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Going forward, Ms is better using win 10s for any future phone if they wish to be in phone market

Win 10s:

1. Cheaper to update and less bug test since it's just win 10 without .exe support

2. Uses exact same store app from win 10 pro so no uwp port

3. Win 10 already has support for LTE and sms app. All win 10 is built to be phone os also

4. Win 10 allows multi task functionality and has flash with familiar ecosystem
 

a5cent

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Going forward, Ms is better using win 10s for any future phone if they wish to be in phone market

Win 10s:
1. Cheaper to update and less bug test since it's just win 10 without .exe support

Cheaper than what? It's no cheaper than W10 as it's built from the same source tree, and it's a LOT more expensive than W10M.

Also, the notion that W10S comes "without .exe support" is incorrect. When a a developer uses the desktop bridge to make a piece of Win32 software distributable through the store, the executable is wrapped in a software container and receives a different name, but the executable is still there, inside. Running it requires all the same infrastructure and features that W10 has.

In general it's simply wrong to think of W10S as something less than W10. It's more accurate to think of it as W10 with something more... an additional security feature that prevents executables from running if they were not delivered through the store.

All win 10 is built to be phone os also

No. It really isn't. It's a full blown desktop OS with a configurable UI (for various size screens). It has pretty much none of the properties of a mobile (consumerized) OS which I mentioned in post #26 .
 

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